COVID-19 ICU Preparation Simulation

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UPDATE: We’ve added more features and results to the simulation to help hospitals evaluate bed, ventilator and staffing levels needed to cope with COVID-19 patients. You can now download an updated version of the simulation here.

To help hospitals facing unprecedented demand for intensive-care beds to treat COVID-19 patients, we’ve developed a free simulation model to help assess how many ICU beds and surge capacity will be needed to meet demand as case numbers rise.

One of the key factors affecting the mortality rate of COVID-19 is around the availability of intensive-care beds that use equipment such as bedside machines to monitor a patient’s heart rate and ventilators to help them breathe. With the disease stretching healthcare systems across the world, many countries have cancelled non-urgent surgical operations and stopped services to open more of these ICU beds for critically ill patients.

With hospitals facing rising patient numbers, many of our healthcare users have been asking us if simulation can be used to help understand how many intensive-care beds, and potential surge capacity, will be needed to meet demand as the number of severe cases rises.

We want to do everything we can to help you answer these critical questions. Using our experience of working with hospitals plan and manage bed capacity using simulation, we’ve developed a free simulation model to help you to forecast likely demand.

This simulation can tell you how many ICU beds will be utilized as well as how many temporary surge beds will be needed to meet demand. There’s also a facility to change the mortality rates in both these areas so you can estimate the impact of having the appropriate type of beds on survival rates.

We’ve populated the simulation with placeholder data but it’s simple to update the parameters with your own dataset. If you have recommendations for more accurate baseline data, get in touch and we’ll update the model to include this. We really hope you find the simulation useful, but please reach out if you have any suggestions for improvements.

Download the free simulation and watch my tutorial video below to learn how to change settings and run different scenarios. If you aren’t a current SIMUL8 user but you’d like to use the simulation, please get in touch, we’d love to help you if we can.

1.57MB .S8 file

How to use the simulation

To help you to run and update the COVID-19 ICU Preparation Simulation with your own data, I’ve put together a short tutorial video. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see covered and we can make updates.

Tom Stephenson


Tom is Head of Customer Success at SIMUL8 Corporation, managing large simulation projects for organizations worldwide. With a keen interest in healthcare, Tom's background includes market access for pharmaceutical companies, disease pathways, health economics, and he has particular expertise in clinical operations and improving patient flow through hospitals.